Gerugambaakkam Sri Neelakandeswarar

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By Saravanan Iyer


Gerugambaakkam is located about 20 kms west of Chennai. While going from Porur towards Kunrathur, one should take left to reach Gerugambaakkam. Gerugambaakkam has an ancient temple for Lord Shiva, which belongs to Chozha period. The main deity is Sri Neelakandeswarar and Goddess Sri Aadhi Kamakshi.

This temple is one of the Navagraha temples of Chennai (or Thondai Mandalam) devoted to Sri Kethu Bhagavan. There is a separate shrine for Kethu Bhagavan on the southern side of the sanctum. Special Poojas and Homams are performed to Sri Kethu Bhagavan during Raahu Kethu Peyarchi. This is also a Parihaara Sthalam for people having ill effects in their lives because of Kethu’s position in their Horoscope.

The main deity Sri Neelakandeswarar is situated in a small and beautiful sanctum. The Lord got His name Neelakandeswarar, as he swallowed the Aala Kaala Poison which evolved during the churning of the ocean, after which His neck turned blue. In Thamizh ‘Neela’ means blue and ‘Kanda’ means neck. It is said that the Nandhi in front of the Lord is so powerful, as he absorbs the poisonous breath of the Lord after He consumed poison.

Sri Aadhi Kamakshi is present just outside the main sanctum, facing south. Sri Aadhi Kamakshi is tall and looks very beautiful. She is said to be the first among 5 forms of Kamakshi. Navagraham is present at the north east side corner of the temple. There are carvings of image of snake on the ceiling of Navagraha shrine, which indicates that this temple is a Parihaara Sthalam.

There is an old and vast temple pond adjacent to the temple, which definitely requires attention. The entire temple itself is now in a poor condition with lack of funds. It is said that when the temple was being constructed during the Chozha period, it was kept on hold due to some foreign invasion. So, the temple looks semi finished. Recently, Tamilnadu Tourism has made arrangements to organize package tour to all 9 Navagraha Sthalams around Chennai and hence the turnout of people is gradually increasing here. This lovely temple amidst a calm village has more to be uncovered.